This U.S. News ranking measures the quality of the undergraduate education at historically black colleges and universities. These HBCUs were compared only with one another for this ranking. To be on the list, a school must be currently listed as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities registry.

1Spelman College     Atlanta, GA      
2Howard University Washington, DC  
3Hampton University        Hampton, VA  
3Morehouse College    Atlanta, GA     
5Xavier University of Louisiana     New Orleans, LA      
6Fisk University   Nashville, TN  
7Claflin University     Orangeburg, SC      
7North Carolina A&T State University     Greensboro, NC 
9Florida A&M University     Tallahassee, FL 
10North Carolina Central University    Durham, NC 
11Dillard University     New Orleans, LA 
12Delaware State University     Dover, DE 
12Tougaloo College     Tougaloo, MS
14Morgan State University     Baltimore, MD 
15Clark Atlanta University     Atlanta, GA 
15Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL 
17Jackson State University  Jackson, MS
17University of Maryland--Eastern Shore     Princess Anne, MD
19Virginia State University   Petersburg, VA
20Prairie View A&M University     Prairie View, TX 
21Alcorn State University     Lorman, MS
22Fayetteville State University     Fayetteville, NC 
22Johnson C. Smith University     Charlotte, NC
22Kentucky State University     Frankfort, KY
22Norfolk State University     Norfolk, VA
26Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University   Normal, AL
27Bowie State University     Bowie, MD
27Lincoln University     Lincoln University, PA 
29Bethune-Cookman University     Daytona Beach, FL 
29Elizabeth City State University     Elizabeth City, NC
31Alabama State University     Montgomery, AL
31Fort Valley State University     Fort Valley, GA 
31Southern University and A&M College     Baton Rouge, LA
34Tennessee State University     Nashville, TN 
34University of Arkansas--Pine Bluff     Pine Bluff, AR
36Bennett College     Greensboro, NC
36Mississippi Valley State University     Itta Bena, MS
36West Virginia State UniversityInstitute, WV
36Winston-Salem State University   Winston-Salem, NC
40Albany State University     Albany, GA 
40Central State University     Wilberforce, OH
40Florida Memorial University     Miami, FL
40South Carolina State University     Orangeburg, SC 
44Philander Smith College     Little Rock, AR
45Grambling State University     Grambling, LA
45Oakwood University   Huntsville, AL 
45Texas Southern University     Houston, TX
48Talladega College     Talladega, AL
48University of the District of Columbia     Washington, DC 
50Bluefield State College     Bluefield, WV
50Lincoln University    Jefferson City, MO
50Virginia Union University     Richmond, VA 
53Coppin State University     Baltimore, MD 
54Savannah State University     Savannah, GA
55Southern University--New Orleans     New Orleans, LA
55St. Augustine's University     Raleigh, NC
55Voorhees College     Denmark, SC
58Allen University     Columbia, SC
59Arkansas Baptist College   Little Rock, AR
60Benedict College     Columbia, SC
61Cheyney University of Pennsylvania     Cheyney, PA
62Edward Waters College  Jacksonville, FL 
63Harris-Stowe State University     St. Louis, MO 
64Huston-Tillotson University   Austin, TX
65Jarvis Christian College     Hawkins, TX  
66Lane College  Jackson, TN
67Langston University    Langston, OK
68LeMoyne-Owen College     Memphis, TN 
69Livingstone College     Salisbury, NC
70Morris College     Sumter, SC
71Paine College Augusta, GA
72Rust College     Holly Springs, MS
73Shaw University     Raleigh, NC
74Stillman College     Tuscaloosa, AL
75Wilberforce University Wilberforce, OH 
76Wiley College   Marshall, TX
UnrankedConcordia College Selma, AL
UnrankedMiles College Birmingham, AL
UnrankedSouthwestern Christian College Terrell, TX
UnrankedTexas College Tyler, TX       

The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines an HBCU as “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary (of Education) to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.”

To qualify for the U.S. News ranking, an HBCU also must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must be a school that is currently part of the 2019 Best Colleges rankings.

If an HBCU is listed as unranked in the 2019 Best Colleges rankings, it is also listed as unranked in the HBCU rankings; see more details below.

In total, 80 HBCUs were eligible to be included on the list; 76 of those were ranked, and four were unranked. Among the 76 ranked HBCUs, schools that place in the top three-fourths display their individual ranks. The remaining ranked schools display the bottom quartile ranking range and are listed alphabetically. U.S. News used the same data in the HBCU rankings as those published and used in the 2019 edition of the Best Colleges rankings, except for the peer survey results that were based on a separate HBCU peer assessment survey.

The U.S. News rankings system rests on two pillars: quantitative and qualitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and U.S. News’ view of what matters in education. The indicators used to capture academic quality fall into six categories: outcome measures, assessment by administrators at peer HBCUs, faculty resources, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving. The indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures – such as graduation rates and first-year student retention rates – that signal how well the institution educates students.

The HBCU rankings are based on mostly the same statistical indicators, but with different weights, as were used in the 2019 Best Colleges rankings for the schools in the Regional Universities and Regional Colleges categories. The following are detailed descriptions of the statistical indicators and weights that U.S. News used to measure academic quality among the HBCUs that were ranked.